By: Matt Larson, Family Advocates' Youth Services Director
Family Advocates sees a need to expand our reach. Our practice of in-school, in-person groups for the youth in our area eroded due to restrictions that arose during the pandemic. With that, we look to change our model to topical presentations. Reaching schools for presentations comes with a need to have topics prepared to present that will impact our youth in a positive way.
In order to ensure Family Advocates is addressing topics that will provide a positive impact to the communities we serve, we are reaching out to the parents, educators and administrators of the area schools to discuss the problems that they see affecting our youth. We will then work closely with our outreach and sexual assault service programs to tailor and develop new presentations to meet the current need.
Some of the concerns we have already heard about include discussions on bullying, boundaries and consent. We strive to have a solid variety of topics that are developed in a manner that is age appropriate for the youth. Our target is audience groups tend to be in grade levels such as grades 4-6, 7-9 and 10-11. So our materials will be created in variations with those age groups in mind.
We see these as interactive presentations, filled with meaningful discussions on the topics and hope those discussions are thought provoking. Being a parent and former educator myself I understand that the concerns change from class to class and in many cases from semester to semester. This is why we want the input from those of you working most frequently with the youth.
Some questions I would like to ask you include:
What are some problem areas that could benefit from an outside resource?
How long would educators like these sessions to be?
Do educators want to have access to review worksheets throughout the year?
What topics do you see the youth you work with struggle?
What type of conversations would you like to see the youth take part in?
Are there youth you would want to target for a short term group (4-6 sessions) covering a wider variety of topics?
Would you rather see these presented in a classroom or grade wide presentation?
Please take some time to consider these questions and the youth that you work with. Email your responses to Matt Larson, Youth Services Director.